My everyday work laptop is a lightweight Sony Vaio TX57GN around 1.25Kg, having a Core Solo CPU, 1.5GB RAM, 4200RPM HDD, Vista its speed is sub-optimal and I can only use it for email and browsing. Even then I am not complaining and actually I love it especially on my travels. This changes when I have to do demos (customer presentations or Microsoft events) I got to run multiple virtual machines and at that time CPU muscle, RAM and Speed are crucial. So few months back I decided to buy a second laptop for demos alone and eventually settled down on Dell Vostro 1400. That was the time (August ’07) Dell had introduced Vostro series in USA, the price of USD 1740 (with taxes) for the configuration was attractive so I immediately purchased it and got it through one of my colleagues coming to India.
Dell Vostro 1400 configuration
- Vostro 1400, Intel Core 2 Duo T5470, 1.6GHz, 800Mhz FSB 2M L2 Cache
- 14.1 inch Wide Screen XGA LCD
- 4GB, DDR2, 667MHz
- Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset
- Intel Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
- 160GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
- Windows Vista Business
- 24X COMBO CD-RW/DVD for Vostro
- Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g
- Warranty Support, 2 Year Extended
The laptop scores good on Vista Benchmarks and performs well with multiple VPCs and Vista Aero interface. Dell shipped the laptop (strangely) with Vista 32Bit OS, so it showed only 3.5GB of RAM. This week I decided to upgrade the machine to Vista x64, so I got it formatted and installed Vista Ultimate x64. Now the laptop shows 4GB RAM, but most of the devices (as expected) were not installed with drivers. Luckily Wi-Fi worked and after running Windows Update which download 150MB of 42+ updates and a reboot, most of the devices including Graphics card got installed. The Ethernet card proved tricky with no drivers available either from Microsoft’s Windows Update or from Dell support site. Dell doesn’t provide drivers for Windows x64 OS for any of the devices in their Vostro series Laptop. After some searching I found the driver from Broadcom’s support site for the LAN card and now everything is working fine.